Which type of website?

Relative merits of static and dynamic websites

Static (brochure) sites – Plus Points

Flexibility is the main advantage of a static brochure website – every page can be different if desired, to match the layout to different content, and the designer is free to put in any special effects that a client may ask for in a unique way on different pages. This allows theming – for instance an author may want a different theme for a different book and associated pages or perhaps for a series of books, in order to match the cover designs or the context of the stories. Cost is generally lower up-front than a dynamic site.

Static (brochure) sites – Considerations

Updating the content on a static site requires HTML skill, and knowledge in the design methods used to develop the site, therefore you have to go back to the designer to have any content changes made. This is usually chargeable. Scalability of a static site can take considerable time, effort and cost. For example, if you wish to sell products on your site and you have a lot of them then you may have to construct individual pages for each one. Costs – there are likely to be ongoing costs for updating the content on a static site.

Dynamic (CMS) sites – Plus Points

The main advantages of dynamic sites are that by connecting them to databases you can easily pull in information in an organised and structured way to easily create product pages or categories of related products sorted in a variety of different ways depending on how the user wants to view them. This ability to connect to a database means that you can also create a content management system – an interface which allows the client to input and manage data via a web-based series of administration pages. That content can be text for their pages and images to go along with the text, or items in their product range with categories, specifications, short and long descriptions, images, etc. In both these cases it can be as simple or as complex as the client requires. There are little or no ongoing costs unless there is a change in the basic design or an extra capability added.

Dynamic (CMS) sites – Considerations

The design of a dynamic site is more fixed than a static one because many of the pages are essentially a template into which data and content is poured to create multiple pages of a similar type. So for instance all your product pages will be essentially the same page with different data being displayed. A change to the page design will be evident on every product page. Costs are higher initially than for a static site.

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